Weekly Email News – the future of the building industry

‘Tough’ – survey
Nearly nine out of 10 UK construction firms expect public spending cuts to act as a drag on operating conditions, the CBI said recently.

Responding to the first CBI/Speedy Services national construction survey, close to two-thirds of firms described the UK’s planning system as an obstacle to business, while four out of 10 have seen a deterioration in the availability of finance over the past year.

Close to nine out of ten (86%) firms report that sustainability is an important consideration for their clients. More than two-thirds (69%) measure their sustainability in terms of water, waste, carbon contribution and energy use. Over half of respondents (53%) consider the carbon footprint of their suppliers as part of their selection process.

The construction sector sees the Green Deal as a means of reducing carbon emissions, with a balance of +32% believing it’s an effective way of reducing carbon emissions from homes, and the same balance of +32% believing it will efficiently reduce carbon emissions from businesses.

The Chancellor’s autumn statement contained encouraging news for the sector, including details of the Funded Construction Pipeline and infrastructure spending. The survey portrays a sector well-placed to boost skills and create jobs, with more than three-quarters of firms planning to maintain or increase spending levels on training and investment in apprentices in the coming year.

The survey was conducted online between 30th September and 21st October 2011, with responses from CEOs, managing directors, and senior managers from firms across the UK, employing close to a million people in all areas of construction, ranging from design and materials supply to civil engineering and house building.